Liverpool may well be regretting their decision not to sign reported target Aissa Mandi from Real Betis during the summer transfer window when you consider the centre-back crisis at the Merseyside club in recent weeks.
Jurgen Klopp has been without first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for much of the season through injury, whilst Joel Matip has also struggled to stay fit.
The Reds coped well with the likes of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips partnering Fabinho at centre-back but in recent weeks, the wheels have started to come off.
Sunday’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United was evidence that Klopp desperately needs a senior centre-back in his side, otherwise, Liverpool risk losing any chance of retaining the Premier League title, as both Williams and Fabinho’s vulnerabilities at the back were exposed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Therefore, it seems as if the German manager will be frustrated that during the summer, the club failed to bring in Mandi from Betis, as at one point it seemed likely that he would arrive at Anfield as Dejan Lovren’s replacement, with the Croatian joining Zenit St Petersburg.
Algerian journalist Hafid Derradji reported during the summer that the centre-back, who reportedly earns £23k per week with Betis, was close to joining the Reds but the deal fell through due to Liverpool refusing to up their offer.
The print version of the Mirror (via Express) suggested that Liverpool tabled an offer of £9 million for the experienced Algeria international, but Betis wanted another £1.8 million on top, which Michael Edwards was clearly unwilling to pay, as he ended up staying with the La Liga side.
His performances this season suggest that the 29-year-old would have been a solid player and an older head for Klopp to have during this injury crisis, as other than a 5-2 defeat to Barcelona in which he got sent off, his performances this season have been consistently good.
He also has three goals in just 14 La Liga appearances this season, suggesting that he could have gone some way towards replacing the goal threat of Van Dijk in Klopp’s side.
Therefore, when you consider that Klopp doesn’t seem confident of adding a centre-back during the current window despite their lack of options at the back, the German manager will surely be frustrated that just £1.8 million stood between him and a new centre-back during the summer.
And, in other news… Tackles more than VVD: Edwards should swoop for 21 y/o beast